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Recent Program News

March 13, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy today recognized Staples for its leadership in energy efficiency at one of its facilities near Dallas, Texas. As part of their participation in the Better Buildings Challenge, Staples is conducting retrofits in facilities across the United States. At their showcase project, the Coppell Fulfillment Center, Staples deployed an “Eco-Treasure Hunt” program that identified ways to save energy in the 245,000 square foot warehouse building, which is fully air conditioned and operates 90 hours each week. Staples implemented a host of energy efficiency measures in its fulfillment centers, including the use of advanced lighting technologies such as LEDs in loading docks and large fans to keep employees comfortable and increase productivity.


January 29, 2014
The U.S. Department of Energy is recognizing the city of Los Angeles for its leadership in the Better Buildings Challenge. Los Angeles has pledged to reduce the energy intensity for 30 million square feet of city-owned and private buildings by 20 percent by 2020. One of the city’s biggest energy efficiency wins is the historic Central Library, an icon in downtown Los Angeles since 1926. Through the Challenge, Los Angeles has retrofitted the library, including replacing an aging roof with a cool roof, updating the HVAC system and replacing old lighting with new, energy-efficient bulbs.


Senior Officials from DOE and White House

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Senior Officials from DOE and White House

Senior Officials from DOE and White House Welcome New Better Buildings Challenge Multifamily and Better Buildings Accelerators Partners

Shown in picture (from left to right): Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, Department of Energy; Dan Ultech, White House Deputy Director for Energy and Climate Change; Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary for Department of Energy.

December 3, 2013
The U.S. Departments of Energy and Housing and Urban Development today expanded the Better Buildings Challenge to multifamily housing and launched the Better Buildings Accelerators to support state- and local government-led efforts to cut energy waste and eliminate market and technical barriers to greater building efficiency. Fifty multifamily housing leaders from across the United States have committed through the Better Buildings Challenge to cut their energy use by 20 percent in ten years. The Department of Energy also introduced three new Better Buildings Accelerators to bring together state and local governments, utilities, and manufacturers to develop cost-effective, creative solutions for building energy efficiency.


Alco press release

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Shown in the photo (from left to right): Mike Kinney, Director of Manufacturing, Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions; Larry Fabina, Manager, Continuous Improvement, ArcelorMittal; Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, U.S. DOE; Eric Hauge, Vice President and General Manager, ArcelorMittal Cleveland; Walt Brockway, Manager, Global Energy Efficiency, Alcoa.

Shown in the photo (from left to right): Mike Kinney, Director of Manufacturing, Alcoa Forgings and Extrusions; Larry Fabina, Manager, Continuous Improvement, ArcelorMittal; Dr. David Danielson, Assistant Secretary, U.S. DOE; Eric Hauge, Vice President and General Manager, ArcelorMittal Cleveland; Walt Brockway, Manager, Global Energy Efficiency, Alcoa.

November 22, 2013
Through the Better Plants Challenge, Alcoa has demonstrated leadership by setting an ambitious goal to reduce the energy intensity of 29 of its plants by 25 percent by 2020 and sharing strategies and best practices to help other U.S. companies improve their energy efficiency. U.S. Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Danielson joined officials from Alcoa to tour the company’s Cleveland facility and its recent energy efficiency improvements. In addition, Alcoa and steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal are co-hosting an energy efficiency training program at their Cleveland plants this week for staff at both companies. Sponsored by the Department of Energy, this hands-on technical training will further help plant staff identify new opportunities that reduce energy use and save money.


November 6, 2013
The Department of Energy is recognizing the city of Milwaukee, Wis. for its leadership in energy efficiency. As part of the Better Buildings Challenge, Milwaukee has retrofitted the Milwaukee Central Library, including surveying and repairing dozens of steam traps in the basement to help cut energy waste and replacing old lighting with new, energy-efficient bulbs throughout the building. As a result of these upgrades, the Milwaukee Central Library is on track to save about $47,000 in energy costs per year.


September 25, 2013
Better Plants Partners are being recognized at the World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C. and praised for their energy efficiency efforts. Accomplishments across the Better Plants Program are summarized in the Department of Energy's Better Plants Progress Update - Fall 2013. Additionally, 13 companies have stepped up to the Better Plants Challenge, which is the industrial component of the Better Buildings Challenge.


June 25, 2013
President Obama's Climate Action Plan announces an expansion to the Better Buildings Challenge to include multifamily housing. The Department of Energy, working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will partner with leading private and affordable buildings owners and public housing agencies to cut energy waste.


May 22, 2013
The Department of Energy is recognizing its Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies for the first year's progress, which shows they are on track to meet President Obama's goal to reduce by 20% the energy intensity in the commercial and industrial sectors by 2020. The recently released Progress Update – Spring 2013 summarizes the significant energy efficiency gains being made by the market leaders who have taken the Better Buildings Challenge.


progress report 2012

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New cars move through Nissan's Paint Plant 4

New cars move through Nissan's Paint Plant 4

April 17, 2013
The Department of Energy is touring Nissan’s Better Buildings Challenge showcase facility in Smyrna, TN to recognize the cost savings possible for manufacturing facilities that adopt energy efficiency measures and upgrades. Nissan’s Smyrna paint plant opened on Jan. 22, 2013 and is projected to cut energy use by almost a third compared to its predecessor.


Logos for Sprint, Macy's, and Johnson Controls

February 21, 2013
Johnson Controls, Macy’s, and Sprint are the latest Partners to join the Better Buildings Challenge. These organizations are committing to reduce energy in more than 200 million square feet of commercial space combined.


progress report 2012

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progress report 2012

Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies met with Senior Administration and DOE officials to discuss the Better Buildings Initiative.

December 6, 2012
More than 60 Better Buildings Challenge Partners and Allies met with Senior Administration and Department of Energy officials in Washington D.C. to discuss progress of the Better Buildings Initiative and share the broad array of implementation models and solutions offered by Better Buildings Challenge Partners in the program’s first year. Round table sessions also provided a forum for discussion and learning among business leaders on a wide range of cross market activities.

At the event, the Department of Energy released the 2012 Better Buildings Progress Report, which provides an update of the key strategies the Administration is using to overcome the barriers to energy efficiency, highlights the success of leading organizations in the Better Buildings Challenge, and shares the future plans for Better Buildings—providing a framework for meeting the goal of 20 percent savings by 2020.


September 9, 2012
Sample coverage from media walk throughs at Better Buildings Challenge showcase facilities for SUPERVALU, U.C. Irvine, and HEI.


Shown in the photo (top row left to right): Alicia Hunt, City of Medford, MA; Eric Friedman, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Eloisa Portillo Morales, City of El Paso, TX; Jenine Windehausen, Placer County, CA; Cindy Tatham, City of Beaverton, OR; Cal Clark, Mesa County Valley School District 51, CO; Autumn Salamack, Kitsip County, WA; Teresa Kinsky, City of Huntington, NY; Michael Foote, City of Gillette, WY; Ken Cronin, City of Roanoke, VA; Kathleen Hogan, DOE; Sam Steele, City of Fort Worth, TX; Matthew Gray, City of Cleveland, OH; Jessica Robinson, Hall County, GA; Jeff Hamman, Portland Public School District, OR; Donald Reese, City of New Castle, DE; Nicholas Schiavo, City of Santa Fe, NM; Sam Roark, Sonoma County, CA; Anne Eisela, State of Maryland; John Odell, Worcester, MA; Claire Fravel, City of East Hartford, CT; Penni Redford, City of West Palm Beach, FL; Robert Ericson, Town of North Smithfield, RI; Kevin Moyer, City of Toledo, OH; Kristie Wamstead Evans, City of Omaha, NE; Tim Bockus, City of East Hartford, CT; Tim Murphy, City of Toledo, OH; Barbara Buffaloe, City of Columbia, MO; Jessica Prosser, City of Arvada, CO; Maria Vargas, DOE; (bottom row left to right): James Sloss, City of Pittsburg, PA; Ann Spalding, City of Rochester, NY; Dennis Kuchenmeister, Fort Atkinson School District, WI; Dean Olsen, Will County, IL; Susanna Sutherland, City of Knoxville, TN; Rachel Emerson, State of Delaware.

Not shown in the photo: Sam Booth, Washington DC Public Schools; Heidi Burkhardt, Camas School District; Renee Hutcheson, State of North Carolina; Bob Young, Dysart Unified School District.
New State, Municipal and Education Partners announced at the Better Buildings Summit for State and Local Communities on June 26, 2012

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Shown in the photo (top row left to right): Alicia Hunt, City of Medford, MA; Eric Friedman, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Eloisa Portillo Morales, City of El Paso, TX; Jenine Windehausen, Placer County, CA; Cindy Tatham, City of Beaverton, OR; Cal Clark, Mesa County Valley School District 51, CO; Autumn Salamack, Kitsip County, WA; Teresa Kinsky, City of Huntington, NY; Michael Foote, City of Gillette, WY; Ken Cronin, City of Roanoke, VA; Kathleen Hogan, DOE; Sam Steele, City of Fort Worth, TX; Matthew Gray, City of Cleveland, OH; Jessica Robinson, Hall County, GA; Jeff Hamman, Portland Public School District, OR; Donald Reese, City of New Castle, DE; Nicholas Schiavo, City of Santa Fe, NM; Sam Roark, Sonoma County, CA; Anne Eisela, State of Maryland; John Odell, Worcester, MA; Claire Fravel, City of East Hartford, CT; Penni Redford, City of West Palm Beach, FL; Robert Ericson, Town of North Smithfield, RI; Kevin Moyer, City of Toledo, OH; Kristie Wamstead Evans, City of Omaha, NE; Tim Bockus, City of East Hartford, CT; Tim Murphy, City of Toledo, OH; Barbara Buffaloe, City of Columbia, MO; Jessica Prosser, City of Arvada, CO; Maria Vargas, DOE; (bottom row left to right): James Sloss, City of Pittsburg, PA; Ann Spalding, City of Rochester, NY; Dennis Kuchenmeister, Fort Atkinson School District, WI; Dean Olsen, Will County, IL; Susanna Sutherland, City of Knoxville, TN; Rachel Emerson, State of Delaware.

Not shown in the photo: Sam Booth, Washington DC Public Schools; Heidi Burkhardt, Camas School District; Renee Hutcheson, State of North Carolina; Bob Young, Dysart Unified School District.
New State, Municipal and Education Partners announced at the Better Buildings Summit for State and Local Communities on June 26, 2012

New State, Municipal and Education Partners announced at the Better Buildings Summit for State and Local Communities on June 26, 2012

June 26, 2012
Obama Administration Announces Major Steps Forward to Advance Energy Efficiency Efforts, Improve Access to Low-Cost Financing for States and Local Communities.


May 25, 2012
City, Atlanta Gas Light Mark Achievements of Civic Center as part of the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.


May 16, 2012
Legrand Achieves Over 20 Percent Energy-Intensity Reduction in Presidential Challenge.


President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton take a tour of the upgrades of the Transwestern Building in Washington, Dec. 2, 2011 (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

President Obama and former President Clinton tour building upgrades

President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton take a tour of the upgrades of the Transwestern Building in Washington, Dec. 2, 2011 (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

December 2, 2011
We Can't Wait: President Obama Announces Nearly $4 Billion Investment in Energy Upgrades to Public and Private Buildings and launches the Better Buildings Challenge.


September 21, 2011
President Obama discusses Better Buildings Challenge at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.


July 24, 2011
Mayors Discuss Creating Jobs with the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness


June 30, 2011
Obama Administration Announces 14 Initial Partners in the Better Buildings Challenge


February 3, 2011
President Obama Announces Better Buildings Initiative at Penn State University


Media Contact

Press Officer
U.S. Department of Energy
PA-20/Forrestal Building
1000 Independence Ave., SW.
Washington, DC 20585
Phone: 202-586-4940
E-mail: betterbuildingschallenge@ee.doe.gov